UAE vs India 'Media Ashes' T20 cricket series unveiled

Sudhir Shetty (second from left) unveiling the Media Ashes trophies along with AK Satish, Amith Passela and ND Prashant at press conference. (Supplied)

The UAE’s sports journalists will be hosting a first ever sports tour against visiting Indian journalists mainly from the Sports Journalists Association of Mumbai (SJAM).

This was announced in a press briefing at the Foodlands in the capital where the trophy was unveiled by UAE Exchange Centre President Sudhir Shetty.

A three-match Twenty20 series as well as a one-off football game will be played during the tour, which runs from September 18 to 24.

Dubbed the ‘Media Ashes,’ the tour is sponsored by the UAE Exchange Centre and co-sponsored Danube Home, Shyam Bhatia Cricket for Care, Kerala Thanima, Red Bull and Almarai.

The Media Ashes provides a unique opportunity for those writing, broadcasting and reporting on sports to get a feel of the action themselves.

The three T20 fixtures will be played at the three major cities in the UAE - Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, under floodlights.

Abu Dhabi’s Test venue -the Zayed Cricket Stadium will host the first T20 on September 19, followed by the second game at the International Cricket Council (ICC) Academy ground in Dubai, a day later.

The final T20 game will be played at one of the oldest and most historic venues in cricket -the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on September 22.

The one-off football game will be held at Al Jazira’s Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium’s training pitch.

The UAE Exchange, who have been extremely supportive when it comes to cricket and sports, in general, were more than willing to support the event.

The UAE Exchange sponsor various domestic cricket tournaments as well as the MCC-Zayed Cricket Academy. They also have their own cricket team. 

“We are extremely delighted about this first ever tournament between UAE and Indian journalists,” Sudhir Shetty said at the press conference on Monday.

“Maybe a reciprocal series could happen down the line. In any case, it has to start somewhere and no better place than the UAE. The visiting Indian journalists can enjoy the different venues of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. They can also see the amazing infrastructure that we have here. Such a series will also foster friendship,” Shetty added.

The UAE team will be led by Amith Passela of The National, while Sanjeev Samyal of the Hindustan Times will be leading the visiting team.

Gulf News journalist and event coordinator ND Prashant confirmed that a similar return leg is also planned.

“They will be hosting us next year. It is a start and we hope it will continue for many more years,” said Prashant.

Passela said there used to be one-off games between UAE journalists and visiting journalists during the tri-series in Sharjah but this was the first time that an organised event was happening.

Squads:

UAE:
Amith Passela (captain), Ahmed Rizvi, Osman Samiuddin, Paul Radley, Jonathan Raymond, Kumar Shyam (Team Manager) (The National), KR Nayar, ND Prashant, Jaiprasad Rai, AK Satish (Gulf News), Sunil Vaidya, James Jose, Randall Rozario (Khaleej Times), Jaideep Marar (Sport360), Fahad Hussain, Jamil Abdul (Radio Mirchi), Gopal Jasapara (Cricketlovers.com), Arshad Hussain (Al Sharq).

India:
Samyal Sanjeev Karan (Hindustan Times), Ferro Ashwin Keith (Mid-day),  Mayure Subodh Madhukarrao (Mid-day), Tripathi Sudheendra Shachindra (Times of India), Vichare Mahesh Vishwanath (Maharashtra Times), Parikh Moulin Nalin (Asian Age / Deccan Chronicle), Nagwekar Shailesh (Sakal), Pai Vaidya, Nishad Sunai (Freelance Cricket Writer/Anchor), Menon Mohandas (Cricket Statistician), Keni Prashant (Loksatta), Kadam Sandeep Shamsunder (Pudhari Marathi), Kotian Harish Ramkrishna (India Abroad /Rediff.com),  Sukumaran Kishore (Cricket Expert / Commentator), Rahul Dixit (The Hitvada), Paritosh Pramanik (The Hitvada), Ajit Bezbaruah (Ahmedabad Times of India), Anand Vasu (Wisden India), Satish Vishwanathan (Bangalore News 9 / Freelance).
 

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